Seven of the UK’s leading wholesalers have written a joint letter to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) urging it to block the Tesco-Booker merger.

The managing directors of Bestway, Bidfood, Confex, Landmark, Spar, Sugro and Today’s co-signed a letter, which was submitted to the CMA as part of its ongoing Phase 2 investigation.

The letter challenges the claim that Tesco’s acquisition of the Booker Group, which supplies Londis, Budgens and Premier stores, will enhance competition in the UK and promote consumer interests.

The group have told the CMA that if Booker acquires Tesco’s unrivalled power in grocery procurement it would harm suppliers and result in higher prices and less choice for independent retailers and consumers.

It added that Tesco, with its ability to target lower prices where it faces local competition, would also have the power to force out of business all those independent retailers with which it competes locally.

The CMA is in Phase 2 of its investigation into Tesco’s proposed acquisition of Booker Group. It is expected that the CMA will issue its provisional decision towards the end of October.